TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN CHICAGO, USA

Chicago offers a variety of attractions to suit the whole family, as well as being a romantic and relaxing place for couples. Strolling through the neighbourhoods and visiting Chicago’s great bars and restaurants is one of the best ways you can spend your time in Chicago but for those who wish to explore more, this is our top 10 things to do in Chicago. The Chicago Pass can help you save quite a bit of money if you are planning on visiting all the top attractions during your stay.

1

Grant Park

A tranquil and relaxing attraction with various sculptures and architecture dotted across the park. The park is open from 6am to 11pm and is located between Michigan Avenue and Lake Michigan. It is home to many famous landmarks including the Buckingham Fountains and Lincoln Statue.

2

Navy Pier

Perfect for a few evening drinks and dinner, head to Navy Pier for a choice of many restaurants and eateries as well as a great view of the Chicago skyline and a few rides and attractions.

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3

Cloud Gate

Found in Grant Park, the Cloud Gate is a popular and famous landmark of Chicago, making it have its own spot in our top things to do list. A reflective upside-down bean sculpture that is great for a selfie.

Willis Tower
Willis Tower 2
4

Willis Tower

Head to Willis Tower to experience the SkyDeck with a glass balcony ledge that overlooks Chicago whilst the rest of the SkyDeck offers sweeping views of the surrounding states. This is open from 10am to 8pm but check ahead of your visit as it can close during poor weather. Entrance costs $19.50 but is also included in the Chicago CityPass.

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5

Wrigley Fields

Watch the Chicago Cubs play in the oldest standing baseball stadium of America. Tickets can be purchased online but it is advised to do so in advance. Read about our experience on our blog or look for last minute tickets on Ticket Liquidator.

6

360 Chicago – formerly known as the John Hancock Center

Offering 360 degree views of this fabulous city, the 360 Chicago building offers an observation deck with cafe and bar for $19 for an adult ticket. Again, this is included in the Chicago CityPass if you choose to purchase it.

7

Magnificent Mile

Home to some of the best fashion stores, head to Magnificent Mile for some shopping as well as to eat in delicious high end restaurants.

Deep Dish Pizza
8

Deep Dish Pizza

Chicago’s deep dish pizza is incredible and a must whilst in Chicago. Read our review of Gino’s East Pizza (also seen on Man Vs Food) for more details and pictures.

Head to Gino’s East earlier in the evening as the original restaurant can get quite a queue. This is the same for other top pizza places in the area.

9

Lincoln Park and Zoo

Head to Lincoln Park and Zoo to meet some gorgeous animals; perfect for families. Open from 7am to 5pm most days, this is the place to enjoy a free day of fun.

10

Chicago Lakefront Trail

One of the things that makes Chicago beautiful is the lakefront and rivers running through the city. For a perfect afternoon, take a stroll along the lakefront trail, stop near a river, enjoy a picnic and unwind.

Chicago is the perfect place to visit, especially for a stopover or for a few days. We spent just 3 days in Chicago but because of the close proximity of these top attractions we were able to explore everything we wanted to at a casual pace. Read about other cities here.

What do you love about Chicago? Where else should we head to next time? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

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Showing 22 comments
  • tracy collins
    Reply

    This is somewhere I am really looking forward to going in the States – hopefully to be catching a train to San Francisco or Seattle (love train travel and we want to do more in the USA)
    Pinning for later and sharing 🙂

  • Jennifer
    Reply

    I have a few friends in Chicago who love it there. Now I can see why! And who doesn’t want a deep dish pizza?!

  • Anita
    Reply

    This is really helpful, thank you. I have been wanting to go to Chicago forever (been once when I was a kid) and I can’t find anyone to go with me; they either have been or have different tastes in everything compared to me. lol But I am going to do it, alone. I’ll be following your handy list.

    • Katie
      Reply

      Yes definitely go! Maybe opt for a small deep dish pizza if you’re by yourself!! They are very filling!

  • Vrithi Pushkar
    Reply

    I have been to Chicago a couple of time but havent seen all the places you suggested. I will make it a point to check out the rest when i visit next time. I am sure my daughter would love to visit the zoo.

  • Torgeir Lindland
    Reply

    Chicago is one of my favorite cities in the US. These are all good tips for things to do in the city. Getting a deep dish pizza is a must and I love walking along the waterfront. It’s been a while since my last visit to Chicago, I should return soon.

    • Katie
      Reply

      Aww yeah that deep dish pizza is definitely worth a trip!!

  • Only By Land
    Reply

    I’ve seen so many pictures of the Cloud Gate on Instagram but never knew where it was. Now I know it’s in Chicago and perfect for funny shaped selfies! You photographed the Willis Tower beautifully you must be proud of that shot!

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Reply

    Chicago was the first “trip” we took together as a couple. We visited during July 4th celebrations and it was amazing. We took a boat cruise from Navy Pier out onto the Lake and watched the fireworks. The views of the lake at night and of the skyline all lit by fireworks was spectacular. It was a big moment for us as we were starting to fall in love. So yeah, a boat cruise on the lake might be added to the list. 🙂

    • Katie
      Reply

      Wow being there for July 4th must have been amazing! aww cute! Our first trip together was to Niagara Falls but our boat cruise (maid of the mist) doesn’t sound quite as romantic as yours!! 🙂

  • Melissa
    Reply

    I’ve only been to Chicago on business so I’ve never gotten to experience any of these things. I’ve heard Navy Pier is amazing tough. I also never knew the actual name of the bean-shaped sculpture. I’m embarrassed to say I always thought it was called The Bean. Lol.

    • Katie
      Reply

      Navy Pier is great fun and I think that is it’s nickname so don’t feel bad!:)

  • Global Girl Travels
    Reply

    Well, in Chicago, you can’t leave without trying the deep dish pizza! This one you’ve featured here looks so amazing – and I love that creative tip! It must be really good to have such a long queue!

  • Jackie Taylor
    Reply

    I really want to visit Chicago, so I loved reading this post. 🙂 So many great suggestions and ideas. Definitely saving this for when I do visit someday!!

  • Reply

    I’ve always wanted to visit Chicago purely to see the Cloud Gate! Funny thing is that I’ve always thought it was called the Chicago Bean for some reason!

  • Deepa
    Reply

    Your post reminded me of our time in Chicago. We were inChicago for 2 years and my younger one was born there. Navy pier was our favourite. #citytripping.

  • Reply

    Hopefully I’ll visit it one day:) #citytripping

  • alex muir
    Reply

    I’ve pinned this – wanted to go to Chicago for so long! #citytripping

  • Cathy (MummyTravels)
    Reply

    I am definitely making a note of this – Chicago is somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for a while, so love the tips. I wonder how many photos I’ll end up taking of the bean! Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  • Trish @ Mum's Gone To
    Reply

    I have one good reason I should visit Chicago – my cousin lives there! And yet I’ve still never been. It looks incredible.
    #citytripping

  • Angela
    Reply

    This is perfect, thank you! Leaving for my first ever trip to Chicago tomorrow- Can’t wait! Everyone I speak to seems to love this city!

    • Katie
      Reply

      Have a fantastic time!!

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